The 16th Annual PulseNet Update and 8th Annual OutbreakNet Meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia, August 27-30, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta hotel in Buckhead. The meeting drew nearly 400 laboratorians, epidemiologists, and environmental health professionals from Australia, Canada, South Korea and the United States. Participants represented federal, state and local public health and food regulatory agencies.
The theme for this year’s meeting was “Modernizing Outbreak Detection Through Teamwork.” The welcome addresses were given by Drs. Charles Brokopp, President of APHL, and Jennifer Wright, CDC, on the evening of August 27th. The keynote speech was given by Eric Schlosser, Atlantic Monthly, which was titled, “Private Interests and Public Health.”
This year, the Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory was host to the 15th Annual PulseNet Meeting in Long Beach, California, September 19-22, 2011. The meeting drew over 285 laboratorians, epidemiologists and environmental health professionals from the United States, Germany, Egypt and Canada. Participants represented federal, state and local public health and food regulatory agencies
The theme for this year’s meeting was “PulseNet & OutbreakNet: Evolving Connectivity in Food Safety.” Drs. Victor Waddell, President of APHL and Robert Kim-Farley, Director, Communicable Disease and Control for Los Angeles County Department of Public Health gave insightful welcomes during the Welcome Session to start off this year’s meeting. Ms. Mimi Lachica, Long Beach Public Health Laboratory Director, gave a brief overview of the Long Beach Department of Health and the vast array of activities Long Beach had to offer participants. The keynote address was given by Caroline Smith Dewaal, Director of Food Safety, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). She described her current food safety activities at CSPI and presented data from the latest findings of CSPI’s All Over the Map and her ideas for an improved food safety system. The following day, Dr. Chris Braden, Director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, opened the first session of the meeting with a welcome address and discussed current challenges and opportunities laboratorians and epidemiologists are faced with at the local and state levels.
Proceedings from the 14th Annual PulseNet Meeting (external link)
Hosted by the Illinois Department of Public Health in Chicago, Illinois, August 30-September 2, 2010. The meeting drew 180 laboratorians from the United States and Canada. Participants represented federal, state and local public health, and food regulatory agencies.
The theme for this year’s meeting was “PulseNet: A Model for Improving Foodborne Outbreak Response.” Dr. George Dizikes, CLIA Laboratory Director for the Illinois Department of Public Health gave an informative welcome during the opening session of the meeting. The keynote address given by Dr. Ali Khan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided support and inspiration to the PulseNet community. Dr. Khan spoke of the urgent need to continue funding public health programs like the PulseNet network in order for food safety to progress into the 21st Century.
Hosted by the Utah Department of Health in Snowbird, Utah from September 22-25, 2009. The combined meetings drew over 240 laboratorians and epidemiologists. They represented federal, state and local public health, and food regulatory agencies.
The theme for this year’s meeting was “PulseNet and OutbreakNet at the Crossroads: Working Together to Improve Food Safety.” Dr. Patrick Luedtke, Laboratory Director for the Utah State Public Health Laboratory, gave a warm welcome during the opening session of the meeting. The keynote addresses were given by Dr. Robert Tauxe, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mr. Michael Taylor, from U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Tauxe and Mr. Taylor praised the work of laboratorians and epidemiologists for the detection of multi-state outbreaks and also discussed the challenges that face our food safety surveillance system. Both speakers acknowledged the importance of communication and partnership among different agencies in order to prevent foodborne illnesses and improve food safety
The Missouri Department of Health hosted the 12th Annual PulseNet USA Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 15-18, 2008. The meeting drew more than 140 laboratorians from the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. Participants represented federal, state and local public health and food regulatory agencies. This year, the 1st Annual Microbial Identification of Enteric Pathogens was held concurrently with the PulseNet Annual Meeting.
The theme for this year's meeting was "PulseNet: A Gateway to a Healthier Public." Eric Blank, DrPH, laboratory director for the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, gave a warm welcome during the opening session of the meeting. Lonnie King, DVM from CDC gave the Keynote address. He shared his perspectives on an initiative, "One Health," which set the stage for this year’s meeting.
Proceedings from the 11th annual PulseNet Update Meeting
This meeting was held in Providence, RI, April 16-19, 2007. The meeting agenda included seven plenary sessions and one break-out session. Attendees from PulseNet USA, PulseNet International and federal food safety agencies active in PulseNet discussed a number of topics, including collaborative efforts to improve food safety, surveillance systems designed to detect foodborne illness, outbreaks associated with produce commodities, details of the 2006 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with fresh spinach,
PulseNet laboratory protocols and software updates, international research and progress among PulseNet International networks and the prioritization of subtyping activities and cluster investigations.
Proceedings from the 10th Annual PulseNet Update Meeting
More than 170 people attended the 10th annual PulseNet Update Meeting, held in Miami, FL, April 3-6, 2006. The attendees of the meeting celebrated the successes that the PulseNet network has enjoyed while looking forward to the technological advances that will ensure continued progress in foodborne illness surveillance. More than 130 people attended the concurrent second National Foodborne Epidemiologists Meeting. Three combined plenary and a combined breakout session allowed the attendees of both meetings to build partnerships and learn about the full scope of foodborne illness investigations.
Proceedings from the Second National Foodborne Epidemiologists Meeting
The Second National Foodborne Epidemiologists Meeting was held in Miami, FL from April 3-6, 2006. APHL assisted in the organization of this meeting, held concurrently with the 10th annual PulseNet Update Meeting. Epidemiologists from across the US gathered to discuss the effectiveness of regulatory interventions, environmental investigations, control selection methods, outbreak etiologies and surveillance and various communication networks.
The 9th annual PulseNet Update Meeting was held in Seattle, WA, May 9-11, 2005. The First National Foodborne Epidemiologists Meeting was held concurrently, and a joint plenary session kicked off both meetings. Attendees from PulseNet USA, PulseNet International, and federal food safety agencies active in PulseNet discussed topics including: epidemiologic standards for national food safety, enteric disease investigations, outcomes of cluster investigations, selection and prioritization of subtyping activities, communication technologies, protocol validations, QA/QC initiatives, and interactions with other networks.
Proceedings from the First National Foodborne Epidemiologists Meeting
The First National Foodborne Epidemiologists Meeting was held in Seattle, WA from May 9-11, 2005. APHL assisted in the organization of this meeting, which was held concurrently with the 9th Annual PulseNet Update Meeting. Epidemiologists from across the US gathered to discuss not only how PulseNet works, but also the coordination of multi-state outbreak investigations, epidemiologic methods, traceback and regulatory issues, foodborne case surveillance and reporting, resources, communications, and new developments in foodborne epidemiology.
Proceedings from the 8th Annual PulseNet Update Meeting
The 8th annual PulseNet Update Meeting was held in San Diego, CA from April 27-30 , 2004. Participants from PulseNet USA, PulseNet International, and federal food regulatory agencies active in PulseNet discussed ways to strengthen the communication between laboratorians and epidemiologists. Other topics included how to build connections between local and national databases, how to work with other molecular surveillance networks, and the development of next generation subtyping methods.